Tuesday, August 21, 2012

HBO The Newsroom #9 Mock Debate

"Help Me Rhonda” is my new name for this episode. “Help Me Rhonda” is a website that Will McAvoy has been going to for relationship advice. It’s sweet that Will is so troubled over his relationship with Mackenzie, but Will has a top-notch therapist who can give him relationship advice—why is this supposedly intelligent and powerful man seeking advice from “Rhonda” as if he were a love-sick teenager.
The Don and Maggie, Jim and Maggie, and Jim and Lisa love-maze could actually use the help of Rhonda. Don sees other women whenever he and Maggie break up, which is frequently.  Maggie doesn’t know about this, but Jim does. Don gets advice from the Rhonda wannabes in the newsroom to tell Maggie the truth. Jim gets advice from the Rhonda wannabes to tell Maggie that he has feelings for her. Everyone in that office is a Rhonda.

Both men arrive at Maggie’s apartment late at night. Lisa is Maggie’s roommate so she’s there too. When Jim sees Don and Maggie together, he loses his never about telling Maggie he loves her. When Lisa sees Jim, she thinks that he is there to try to persuade her to start over with him. Her heart melts, she kisses him before he can speak, and they leave to go for a walk so they can talk privately. This gives Don and Maggie an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart. There is no sound during this final scene, but we see Don and Maggie talking, and Maggie doesn’t look very happy.  Oh, the comedy of errors. Even Rhonda couldn’t sort this one out. 

Will and Mackenzie are as messed up as ever. Mac is still carrying the torch for Will and Will is still punishing Mac. He brought Brian (Mac’s ex who she cheated on Will with) into the newsroom to write a magazine article about the show so Mac would have to be reminded of her infidelity every day. With Brian in the newsroom, Mac and Brian have the opportunity to hash a few things out as well. I don’t think Rhonda would approve.
The real therapist tells Will that Mackenzie cheated on him with Brian because Brian rejected her and she wanted to get back together with him just long enough so she could reject him and then she would feel better about the breakup with her ex. The therapist tells Will that his continual rejection of Mac is not making him feel better, because Will doesn’t feel rejected, he feels betrayed. This is my “finally-we get-an-adult moment-on-this-show” moment of the week.  I hope we see more of this therapist.
Meanwhile back at the newsroom, Will gets to stage his mock debate for the RNC team.  He has this idea that he will host a free-wheeling no-holds-barred debate where he gets to play hardball. He says this will be good for the Republican party because it will clear out the clown-car and leave only the serious candidates to continue running for the nomination. (Serious candidates?  What serious candidates? The only possibly serious candidate was John Huntsman who could never get past 1% in the polls.)

Will is surprised that the RNC guys don’t like his proposal. Really? Surprised? Tell me, Will, how many years have you been in the news business?  But never mind, the mock debate provided the opportunity for the political-polemic part of the show.

But maybe Will really is an idiot. The script writers seem to be trying to portray him as such. Will is trying to change his pants and he falls face down in his boxer shorts—splat—in the middle of the newsroom.  Apparently, he is trying to put both of his legs into one of the pants’ leg. Has something like that, ever in the history of the world, actually happened?

I take it back about renaming this review “Help Me Rhonda.”  I now want to name it, “Help-Me-Dear-God-I-Can’t-Take-These-Ridiculous-Scripts-Any-More.”

This picture is from tv.com